Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Penny Turns 17

Penny just turned 17.

17 sounds so much older to me than 16. I don't know why exactly. 16 still feels like a mid-teen sort of age. Nobody plans on any major life changes happening any time soon. But 17? That's nearly 18! (When suddenly decisions about college and missions are all looming. When you might logically even choose to leave home and venture a bit into full independence. [Or as full as it can be when you don't yet own a car or have great financial reserves anyway.])

Girl loves her Veggie Straws. (Will she love them as much once she's finished these 42 bags Daisy gifted her? That remains to be seen, I suppose.)

And here she is with good friends Ryan and Dan on her birthday. (They told her they thought it would be fun to go to the fun park after school for her birthday. But in reality, they were taking her to the surprise party they'd planned for her.) I've been so grateful for all the good friends Penny has made up here this year!

And while we are discussing Penny--here she is just before being picked up by her date for Sr. Ball:

And here she is with her birthday twin Shianne at the theater department's Tony Awards. (Penny was selected as one of next year's theater officers, so that will be a lot of fun and involvement for her.)

Happy 17th Penny!

Mother's Day 2024

From the only available spot of shade I could find, in the few moments between arriving home from church and having everyone completely disheveled again, I bring you “A Mother’s Day Photo of Nine of Ten Kids”. As for today, I was woken by my four youngest (two hours earlier than I was hoping) with a breakfast in bed of: two (heavily salted) fried eggs, a bowl of cereal, a bowl of yogurt, a bowl of almonds, a glass of chocolate milk, a piece of toast with jam AND a full peanut butter and jelly sandwich with, for some inexplicable reason, a thick layer of butter on top. There were also several dishes full of water and floating weed flowers. (When I messaged a picture of this breakfast to my sister she responded: “Josh [her husband] made me the most amazing omelette just now. I should have thrown it in his face and demanded your breakfast of kings!” 😄) Shortly after, as I tried to go back to sleep, I heard the sound of far-off wailing outside my bedroom window. I opened the blinds and saw Hans in the distance—sobbing something about water and falling and ants—with one rain boot on (the other … simply missing), and his church pants (why he’d opted to put them on before actually being forced to on this occasion is beyond me) soaked up to his knees. But, in truth, I’m glad that nearly 24 years into parenting I still get to be experiencing this kind of Mother’s Day … magic. ✨😄 Happy Mother’s Day y’all. ❤️

(And these two lovely, unedited gems of the kids ought to be included here as well. Mike was trying to get the kids to all look at me but as you can see his getting their attention by throwing a goose egg in the air didn't quite get them looking directly at me. Haha. I like their eyes and faces all following the eggs flight into the air and down again into the grass.)

Friday, May 3, 2024

A Few Little Things

Remember when I shared this tiny, paused photo from a video of Abe in a jiu-jitsu tournament?

Shortly thereafter a friend sent it back to me like this:
Hahha! So great. Abe could not possibly have been more delighted!

Speaking of Abe, he's back at the MTC for a third time! Once as a training missionary, once as an MTC teacher, and now doing machine learning ... programming (I don't even know what I'm saying anymore) sorts of things with their language app. On his first day back on the grounds he ran right into his cousin Reed! That was a happy picture to suddenly see texted to me and my sister Megan (Reed's mom).

And speaking of missionaries, our little Goldie girl is halfway through her mission! 

Here we are on one of her p-day calls. Just Goldie, a few family members, and ... Abe's small sunflower garden he was busy watering as we talked. Hahaha. (He and his roommate planted it in an empty spot outside their apartment window.)

Also, one of my favorite things are the non-punctuated, hopping-from-one-topic-to-the-next messages Summer sends Goldie:

Mike has talked about creating "goat henge" since ... well, since long before we ever had goats. Here we see its humble beginnings (and perhaps endings) from two old rocks that had been sitting near the front gate of the farm for years.

Penny does not think of herself as (nor particularly want to be) a farmy sort. But she cannot deny that she can grab an escaping goat as naturally as if she'd been born to it. (Grover is always trying to make a run for it.)


A little girl out having a picnic for one.

A little girl helping with twice-baked potatoes.

A little girl accepting dolls (against my wishes 😅) from a woman in our ward who I brought dinner to. (If you only knew how many dolls and stuffed animals my children have. I tried to limit them to only three or four of their favorites coming to the rental, but somehow, we are back to having about nine thousand here.)

Little friends wearing nightgowns from Aunt Sarah.

Me trying to take my phone from Hans during sacrament meeting. 

Another lovely morning at the bus stop.

Hansie in a box.

Princess in roller skates (Mette and Starling spend a good portion of every day with these skates on their feet.)

That's all. 

Friday, April 26, 2024

Daisy Graduates from BYU!

I remember so clearly dropping Daisy off to her tiny dorm room for her first year of college. It was during Covid times and masks and quarantines and classes being pushed to remote learning were common. And that really does seem like ages ago now. 

But for some reason dropping her off to her little new Y View apartment the following year seems ... just a moment ago. It was still pretty bare and her roommates weren't around and it seemed so cold and lonesome that I was anxious and praying the entire drive home. Yet she happily spent three school years in that apartment! And now she's officially GRADUATED from college!

She got her bachelor's degree just yesterday--with a statistics major and math minor (and only one miniscule A- the entire four years)! 

And of course it didn't feel like too much of a goodbye to BYU. She'll be back there for her Masters in the fall. Still! Our first little college graduate! That's no small thing! Good work Daisy!

These pictures are at the open house for her department just prior to the graduation ceremony. 

It was a fun but incredibly full day. I picked kids up from school at 11:00 so we could change, eat lunch, and get down to Ogden where Mike was waiting with his mom (who he had picked up after leaving work early) at an auto mechanics where he'd dropped off the truck to be fixed. Then we headed to Provo--arriving around 2:30--to meet up with Daisy, ride the shuttle bus from the stadium parking to the Wilkinson Center, meet up with Abe, and enjoy the open house. ...
Then we headed to the ballroom an hour early to get seats. (Mike's mom had gone for a graduation in the Wilkinson Center last year and had trouble getting a seat at all.) We watched Daisy graduate, took pics, waited for 40 minutes for the shuttle, then headed to Devin and Melissa's to meet their new baby Moses. After that we went to Cafe Rio, then to Daisy's apartment to help load up all of her stuff, and then some of us headed back with Daisy (getting home around 11:30) and some went with Mike a little further south of Provo to pick up a little jon boat someone was selling--which got them home after midnight. So it was a good 12-plus hour day of wildness! But all good things! And we are so happy to have Daisy back for the summer!
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